SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

October 25, 2007 08:00 ET

ETS Joins With Blackboard to Deliver SIR II™

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - October 25, 2007) - Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's largest educational research and assessment organization, announced today that it will join with Blackboard, a leading provider of enterprise learning technology, to deliver SIR II via Blackboard's online learning platform.

SIR II™ Student Instructional Report is a multi-dimensional evaluation tool used primarily by universities and colleges as a comprehensive assessment of course effectiveness. Blackboard will offer two versions of the SIR II report -- SIR II Online and eSIR. SIR II Online provides the institution the flexibility to survey traditional courses without the logistical challenges associated with paper-based survey administrations, while eSIR offers additional questions tailored to the online learning experience. The SIR II report is also offered in a paper-based format for those institutions that cannot accommodate web-based administrations.

SIR II will be distributed as a Blackboard Course Cartridge® for the Blackboard Learning System™, an enterprise software application designed to enhance teaching and learning. Intuitive and easy-to-use for instructors, the Blackboard Learning System is built on a scalable enterprise technology foundation that facilitates growth and performance.

"We at ETS are excited about the ability to deliver SIR II through Blackboard's platform," said David Payne, Associate Vice President for Higher Education at ETS. "Our relationship with Blackboard will allow us to reach more people with this proven and effective survey tool. Having SIR II as part of Blackboard's suite of educational solutions is a clear benefit for educators and students, as it will provide an additional option for institutions to enhance the student learning experience."

Through its extensive client network, Blackboard looks to SIR II to give its current and potential customers a new and powerful option that will allow users to streamline the course and instructor evaluation process.

"The Blackboard and ETS collaboration is a natural fit that mutually adds value to our respective organizations for the ultimate benefit of the students and educators," says Mark Belles, Vice President of Business Development. "In an increasingly competitive higher education arena, institutions are looking for tools that can help colleges and universities demonstrate a commitment to improve course and instructor effectiveness. SIR II is a powerful instrument that can help to meet that need."

Acclaimed for its fairness and validity, the SIR II report takes a structured, comprehensive approach to course evaluation. Students respond anonymously to 45 standardized questions, and faculty are able to add in 10 customized questions of their choice. Student perceptions of their learning experiences help institutions increase program effectiveness. That's why community college and university faculty and administrators nationwide have relied on SIR for more than 30 years to:

--  Measure teacher effectiveness and assess teaching quality
--  Assess tools for course and instruction outcomes
--  Inform administrative decisions
--  Reward excellence
--  Strengthen academic programs
--  Improve instruction
    

For more information about SIR II visit www.ets.org/sir.

About ETS

ETS, a nonprofit organization, celebrates a 60-year history of advancing quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. In 2006, ETS developed, administered and scored more than 50 million assessments in over 180 countries, at more than 9,000 locations worldwide and, in 2006 had consolidated revenues of $836 million. Additional information is available at www.ets.org.

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